ORONO, Maine — When Dr. Records moved in February from its basement home underneath Verve in Orono, at the request of building owners Abe and Heather Furth, the couple had secret plans to open Orono Brewing Co. at the locale to serve at Woodman’s and to locals.
“It was like the best kept secret everybody knew about,” brewmaster Asa Marsh-Sachs said Saturday of the plans.
“It’s an extension of Woodman’s,” Mark Horton, who co-owns Woodman’s Bar and Grill in Orono with the Furths, said Sunday. “We had originally planned on naming the brewery Woodman’s Brewing Co., but there already is a Woodman Brewer in Wisconsin so we weren’t able to use the name.”
Marsh-Sachs is leaving Central Street Farmhouse in Bangor to brew beer full-time at the new Orono brewery, which is still under construction.
“We’re going to have a tasting room, a bar down there,” he said. “We’ll be selling beer out of the bar, and we’ll have tastings, pints and growlers. We hope to be open in the fall.”
“We are very excited at the buzz that has been created already about Orono Brewing Company,” Horton said.
The Furths own two Verve restaurants, which are located at 2 Mill St. in Orono and 91 Main St. in Bangor. They purchased the building at the intersection of Main and Mill streets in Orono five years ago, where they built the first Verve.
The beer brewed at Orono Brewing Co. will be featured on draft at Woodman’s and will be available at the Verve locations. But don’t expect the same old, same old, Marsh-Sachs said.
“There will be a mainstay, but there will also be a wide variety of beer,” said Marsh-Sachs, who has been brewing for about seven years and has hundreds of recipes in his repertoire. “There is always going to be a dark [beer]. There is always going to be an IPA. But they will change.”
While he wouldn’t provide specifics, the brewmaster said the mainstays would be “a light easy drinking brew. And you’ve got to have a big IPA.”
Making “hundreds and hundreds of beers” and helping customers create their own brews has given Marsh-Sachs a ton of experience, which he said he will use when he creates brews for the Orono Brewing Co.
The Imperial Hells Lager, a collaboration beer Marsh-Sachs brewed with Justin Frazell of Craft Beer Guild under the Orono Brewing Co. name, will be featured during Thursday’s Maine Brews Showcase at Nocturnem Draft Haus in Bangor.
“It showcases a new German hop variety, Mandaria Bavaria, that features a citrus, slightly tangerine flavor,” Marsh-Sachs said. “I can’t wait to taste it.”
The beer was brewed at Banded Horn Brewing in Biddeford, which will have a number of beers featured during the event. Owner and brewer Ian McConnell is expected to make an appearance. The local Geaghan Bros. Brewing Co. also will be featured.
“Brewing beer has become a passion for me,” Marsh-Sachs said. “It’s fun, rather than work.”